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more... ReviewsMay 2009DanelectroFenderMarshallOrangeSmokey

Measuring Up Micro Amps

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Fender Mini Deluxe MD-20 $32–$50
The Mini Deluxe is an itty-bitty (1W) version of the Hot Rod Deluxe combo. It has four minichickenhead knobs for Volume, Tone, Drive and On/Off, along with 1/4" Input and Headphone Out jacks, and a standard AC power jack. The enclosure is plain plastic, which is less appealing than some of the other amps, but the chrome control plate was a nice touch. It would’ve been nice to have a 1/8" headphone jack, rather than the 1/4", since most of our ‘phones are 1/8" and we’re probably not going to run this to an extension cab that often.

It’s got pretty crisp cleans with single coils at low Vol/Drive, good for cowboy chords and country pickin’—though it’s as tightly mid-focused as you’d expect. Dime it to get a fat, hairy fuzz tone that’s louder and edgier than you’d imagine. If you’re practicing up for your psycho-punkabilly- surf-rock debut, this is the micro for you.
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